The London-based literary and cultural magazine Granta announced yesterday that Alex Clark will be its first female editor. Clark, who will continue to serve as the magazine's deputy editor until she assumes her new post in September, succeeds Jason Cowley, who left earlier this month to become editor of the New Statesman, a British news weekly. Cowley was editor of Granta for seven months.
Previously the deputy literary editor of the Observer and a writer for the Daily Telegraph's books section, Clark currently writes a column for the Observer's culture and arts review. She told the Guardian, "I look forward to drawing on many years' experience to bring to [Granta] energetic and original writing of the highest quality—both building on the traditions that have brought the magazine such renown and taking it in entirely unexpected and rewarding new directions."
Granta was founded in 1889 by students at Cambridge University as a forum for politics, student issues, and literature, including the early work of prominent writers such as Stevie Smith and Sylvia Plath. Following a period of funding shortages, the quarterly magazine was revived in 1979 by a group of postgraduates and has since published an array of notable poets, fiction writers, memoirists, essayists, and journalists. According to the Granta Web site, the magazine operates on "a belief in the power and urgency of the story, both in fiction and nonfiction, and the story’s supreme ability to describe, illuminate, and make real."